An ex-cop who was supposed to go on trial this week for killing a young Oregon woman and stuffing her body in a suitcase has pleaded guilty. According to a criminal complaint obtained by CBS 58, Steven Zelich, a former West Allis Police Officer, admitted to killing 19-year-old Jenny Gamez and dumping her on the side of a Wisconsin highway.
Zelich reportedly met the teen online in 2012 and they met up later that summer. He picked her up from the airport, according to the report, and drove her out to a hotel. It was at that hotel where Zelich said he spent “two or three days” engaging in “breath play.” CBS 58 says this is a game in which Zelich would control her breathing by choking her. The criminal complaint goes on to say Zelich eventually blindfolded the teen, handcuffed her, put a ball gag in her mouth and tied a rope around her neck.
Zelich later admitted to losing control while choking her, the report adds.
Gamez died, and Zelich reportedly admits to stuffing her in a suitcase, hiding her body in his apartment refrigerator and then eventually tossing her in the back of his car. Some time after that, her body was found dumped along a highway.
Nearly two years later, in June 2014, two bodies were found in suitcases on the side of the road in Wisconsin. Police said, according to CBS 58, they discovered Gamez’s body and that of another victim. The second victim has been identified as 37-year-old Laura Simonson.
According to the criminal complaint, Zelich said he had to get rid of the bodies due to the smell. The news station says formal charges in Simonson’s case are currently on hold.
Read more: CBS 58